SAN ANGELO, Texas — It is easy to get caught up in all the festivities of the season with our friends and family but it’s important to keep in mind the safety and comfort of our four-legged family as well so here are some tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Preparing in advance is a big step in preventing a bad situation or even preventing a situation from getting worse. Make sure all of your pets have wearable identification tags that are up to date in case they get lost or run away. Microchipping your pets and keeping up to date with them is also a life-saving step for many pets to make it back home. In addition to this, it’s important to have current photos of your pet to easily identify them in the case of an emergency as well as to provide evidence that you are the rightful owner. Before the festivities begin make sure your pet is in a safe and secure environment especially if they are easily frightened. This can be checking the yard for easy ways out or asking if your neighbors will be shooting fireworks.

During the festivities, it is recommended that pets are kept at home to prevent them from being spooked and running away and to consider putting them in a safe escape-proof room or crate during the events. Asking your guests to keep an eye out for your pet can come in handy if they notice something before you, more eyes the better. If pets are out during the event be sure to keep things such as sparklers, glowsticks, fireworks, charcoal, and kabob skewers away from them as well as maintain their distance from any cooking appliance/fire.

Keep in mind that too much heat and sun can become very dangerous for your pet very quickly so make sure they stay hydrated and inside/ in shady spots as much as possible. Never leave your pet for any amount of time unattended in your vehicle.

After the festivities have ended double-check and clean any area your pet has access to for debris left from the event that may be dangerous for your pet even if you did not create it yourself since debris can travel.

Stay safe and have fun!